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Climbing barred on Australia's famed Uluru rock to 'right historic wrong'

Climbing barred on Australia's famed Uluru rock to 'right historic wrong'”

The traditional landowners, the Anangu, have always refused to climb Uluru and consider it sacred.

Climbing Uluru is set to be a thing of the past after the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park board decided unanimously to ban the activity, starting in 2019.

For years, visitors to Uluru - Australia's iconic sandstone rock - have been greeted with a trail to the top and a sign with a simple request: "Please don't climb".

After over 70 years of tourism, Uluru will be off limits for climbers from October 2019, local authorities have confirmed.

Uluru's traditional owners and National Parks representatives voted to end the practice on Wednesday.

Figures show only 16 per cent of visitors made the climb during its open times between 2011 and 2015.

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A park board made up of a majority of the traditional owners of the land where the rock - which used to be known as Ayers Rock - stands made the decision.

"Closing the climb is not something to feel upset about but a cause for celebration".

The park's 2010-2020 management plan recommended the climb be closed when one of three preconditions was met, including that fewer than 20 per cent of visitors climbed the rock.

"Instead of tourists feeling disappointed in what they can do here, they can experience the homelands with Anangu and really enjoy the fact that they learned so much more about culture". (She said it was "a tribute to the greatness of the Rock", not an act of disrespect.) There have also been reports of people defecating on the sacred site.

"Perhaps most disturbingly, many people die climbing Uluru".



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